“Political trust is, in this respect, not unlike religious faith. If faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” then political trust is the belief that government will do rightly in the future. Political trust is, from this perspective, a kind of faith in the government.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 37.

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“Scandals have an effect [on political trust], but their impact is most often short lived.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 35.

 

“…Americans do not like to see democracy in action, even though they profess loving democracy in theory. The conflict inherent in the “sausage-making” process is not attractive to most because they mistakenly believe commonsense solutions to political problems are obvious and readily available; their representatives should simply come together to implement them. As evidence of this argument’s wisdom, consider how much more confidence Americans have in the Supreme Court, an institution in which political conflict is private, than in Congress, an institution in which conflict is public. According to the 2012 General Social Survey, 29 percent of Americans express at least “a great deal of confidence” in the Supreme Court, whereas only 6 percent express that much confidence in Congress… In general, when people perceive the governing process to be fair and responsive, political trust rises, and, when they do not, it falls.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 34.

“People are motivated to see their own positions as moderate and responsible. It is those on the other side who are extreme. It is in their feelings about the other side that polarization ought to manifest.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 28.

“Whether out of disinterest, dispassion, or an inability to keep up with party elites’ latest zigs and zags, ordinary Americans’ preferences will always tend to cluster toward the middle and lack extremity. This, however, does not mean that polarization doesn’t exist.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 26.

 

“Rather than ideology, perhaps a central reason Obama’s approach to health care…became unacceptable to Republican lawmakers in the 2000s [as oppose to the 1970s] was that Democrats advocated it. In other words, the GOP’s motivation to oppose it was partisan, not ideological.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 24.

“Partisans today are polarized not in their policy preferences but rather in their feelings about each other. As a result, political trust has polarized by party, leading to an absence of policy consensus and a gridlocked political system with little incentive to compromise. This is why Washington does not work right now.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 15.

 

“Chronically low levels of trust along with its polarization are central to the story of political dysfunction.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 11.

 

“…the polarization of political trust has rendered an ideologically moderate (or perhaps nonideological) mass public an inert force in overcoming polarization in Washington. Without public trust in government, the lawmaking process in Washington has ground to a halt.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 6.

 

“Pet preferences are like ideological preferences. They may be strongly held, yet, under the right circumstances and with enough trust in one’s negotiating partner, people can be persuaded to sacrifice them… [T]rust is most necessary to conservatives when asked to support a liberal policy initiative or to liberals when asked to support a conservative one.” – Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph, Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), p. 5.